30 March 2011

Back in the swing of things

Hello internet! I have returned from vacation, and since I haven't had time to prepare any particularly new or exciting posts it's time for a general update post.

I'll start out with meatspace activities, since that's what I've been doing exclusively for the past week! I was in Vietnam for 7 days, saw some very amazing things and took literally hundreds of pictures, and got a fantastic shorts tan. It's been ages since I wore shorts that went above the knee, so my pasty thighs were pretty surprised to be out in the sun again. We didn't make it to the beach, and instead opted for a long tour trip that resulted in a lot of good or interesting food. (A conversation with my friend on skype: "We had offal noodles for breakfast!" "Why were they so awful??" "No, it was offal! You know, like tripe, guts, the butt tubes!")

Now I'm back to work, and of course by work I mean sitting quietly at a desk for 8ish hours a day waiting for the spring semester to start. Which means I'm actually catching up on my feedreader, which had over 200 wow-posts alone. (Goddamn, you guys talk a lot! <3) Which brings me to my next point, which is OMFG Larisa left blogging and I missed it and uuuggghhh!!! Just like many of the other blogs I have enjoyed and lost (or discovered and realized they had already closed down. Heartbreak!!) it was a shock, and I had to once again remind myself that it's not the end of the world and the best thing to do is to wish them luck and give a brave smile. So at Vidyala's request, I would like to compile a list of blogs that are "new" to me and emphasize how lively and vibrant the WoW blogosphere still is. Many of them I find through BlogAzeroth's new writers forum, but still others I find through links and comments on other blogs. MMO Melting Pot is also a constant source of blogs, and even if I don't care to subscribe to the blog they link, it's still a great way to keep up with the "big" posts out there so I feel like I'm on top of blogging news. In no particular order, I present:
  • World of Saz - a very friendly blogger who often shares touching stories about herself, giving insight into both her gameplay and personal life, and how she has dealt with and grown from both.
  • Red Noob Diaries - what is up with druids and the color red? Hi-five, broseph!! This is an adorable catalogue of a noob's journey through Azeroth's community.
  • Avocation WoW - she's currently having a naming crisis, so I don't know if this is the best title, but she is a paladin who loves talking about her gameplay, her personal experiences in the community, and news in the WoW world.
  • Hello Tauren! - how cute is this name? Yaaay, taurens!!! She's certainly not new to blogging, but is to me. Not only does she talk about her general exploits in WoW, but she occasionally posts delicious recipes!
  • The Asylum Wall - snarky, ranty fun! Hmm, I certainly don't want to suggest that this blog is only about angry rants, but I want to say that the quippy, sarcastic tone really appeals to me. Stormy brings said tone to his discussions about tanking and behavior in WoW.
  • Tree Heals Go Woosh - a delightful combination of observations about different aspects of the game along with resto druid and healing tips. (Yay, druids!!) Tzufit always has fun screenshots, too!
  • Elfi's World - a collection of great screenshots and general musings about the game. Elfi is relaxed, random, and entertaining.
  • Blog of the Treant - yet more druidy goodness (I just can't get enough!) with plenty of talk about guilds, raiding, and general WoW fun.
More bloggy things: 

I took down my blogroll in a frenzied attempt to figure out how to use google reader. (Help help, I am learning new technology!) I didn't understand why I couldn't just sort all of my followed sites into categories like blog, podcast, webcomic, etc. I realize now that the problem is the concept of "following", which requires me to have another list of all duplicate sites, except it denotes them as followed rather than the category I sorted them into. This isn't a huge problem since I have learned to ignore that list, but I'm wondering if I should stop "following" people when I subscribe to their feed just so I don't have to keep updating my followed list. Also I am using the extreme and wonderful fulltextrssfeed.com to read sites without having to go to their homepage, but I find that if I don't unsubscribe from the actual site, it defaults in my feedreader as a truncated post, and ignores the update from the full-text version. Any thoughts on the concept of publicly "following" a blogger? Can I just avoid that and continue to subscribe to feeds?

I am finally getting into the world of podcasts, which is exciting. I hadn't really looked into them before because I always heard them described as something you download to your ipod and listen to while in transit somewhere. This would be great for riding to work or to manfriend's, provided that I hooked my ipod up to the computer more than once a month for charging. But now I am using podcasts as background noise for farming, leveling, cleaning my house, and even in the rare event that I cook something! It makes dropping green onions and rice on the floor or slicing off bits of fingernail much more enjoyable. This week, I'd like to make a concerted effort to email each podcast with some comments about their show. It's mostly because I want to show support for the people on the show and the general format, and slightly because I totes want my blog promoted when they read the mail on the show. :B

Gamey things:

The day before I left for Vietnam I had free from normal manfriend commitments, so I buckled down on my rogue and got to level 58. Since my plan was to farm lockboxes in the Burning Steppes, I finished my leveling there and got a happy Flamefly to follow me around in my stealthy adventures. Since then I have dedicated time every night to getting 60 boxes and mailing them off to Aka, and now I am halfway through revered with Ravenholdt!! On top of that I only have 20 major decks left for Darkmoon Faire, and the end to my Insane quest is finally in sight. More on that later, first some rogue hilarity:

I liked the description on the Combat spec when I hit level 10, so I leveled mostly by running up to mobs and stabbing and smacking them with my sword and hammer. Being heirloom-ed out, there was no real finesse required and I had a ton of fun. Now that I will be spending all of my time in stealth, I wanted to the movement speed bonus from Subtlety and respecced into that. Then I picked up my utility glyphs, namely Glyph of Pickpocket, and went out to investigate the Blackrock Stronghold. Have you quested there? There are ranks of 25 mob packs lined up outside, and the only reason an at-level player survives there is because they are in a disguise while visiting. If I wanted to pickpocket them, they had to be hostile, so stealth became pretty damn important. One thing I had not realized is that Pickpocket has a pretty good range - standing at the back of the pack close to the back line, I can pickpocket the very center mob, and everything else from there can be accessed easily. However, I first stupidly attempted to walk down each row, standing directly behind each mob in order to pickpocket them. That's...a terrible idea. The Worst Idea. Do Not Do This. Also, when a mob is patting or pacing, Sap as you run up and Pickpocket. Furthermore, you can pickpocket on the move! That way no pesky loot box comes up, you keep moving, and you get loot!

Now feeling more relaxed about my Insane grind, I've been poking around my other alts, and finally came up with a name for my Dwarf shaman so I could roll her. Meet the bronzed, busty Brandylash, Wildhammer adventurer! (Manfriend talked me out of BrandyWOWSHAMWOW and other ill-inspired names) I've also returned to my paladin and am tearing up Hyjal as ret, which taught me how to play by making all of my buttons light up. She even hit level 81 already! I also returned to my beloved mage and am doing gray quests in Azshara because goblins!! <333 On Aka I have been trying to keep up with Tol Barad dailies and the daily heroic, partially for the rewards themselves and partially because we are leveling our guild!! I hit exalted last week and got my dark phoenix hatchling...maybe one day we will work our way up to the mount. Nefarian attempts start this week :D

26 March 2011

Goblin Journal: Sprinkie in Orgrimmar

Well Journal, Kalimdor has been treating me well since what remains of the Bilgewater Cartel trudged into Orgrimmar. Hellscream sure was a sight - a much redder and grumpier version of Thrall. His neck is probably as big around as my hips! At any rate, he reluctantly agreed to let us squat in the city in exchange for eternal servitude to the Horde. Just kidding. Only not really. If I have some beefed-up guard tell me "Hellscream's eyes are upon you!" one more time, I swear I'm going to grow 4 feet taller, become a Night Elf, and move to Moonglade.

As you may have guessed, not everyone is excited about the conscription. But plenty are making the "venture" work for them. Like Auctioneer Kuvi, for example. She's been doing market research for me on cloth and ore - I got a whole folder of bids and buyouts in my specialized markets that's giving me the competition in listing auctions and getting my fortune back together. She even gave me helpful gold-to-macaroons comparisons until I had the conversion rates sorted.

I knew her back in Kezan, having given some guest lectures in her Auction House Economics class. ("Minimizing Auction House Fees and Casualties: Making Smoke Bombs Work for You" was a particular favorite. Shame I lost the slides to it.) And to think - she didn't even graduate, what with the whole exploding volcano ordeal, and now she's putting her major to work in a central trading hub! She even gives me discounted listing fees. When I asked her about it, she said:

"Well, I know what you did to get us off of Kezan, and how you helped us get food at the Town-In-A-Box, and saved us from being Gallywix's Kaja'mite slaves, and met the orcs and all..."

I guess when you put it that way, there's plenty to appreciate. Good kid; I should take her and her brother out for dinner some time.

She isn't the only one giving me perks - I also get half-price Alchemy training, and time-and-a-half mage lessons at no extra cost. Then there's the myriad little bonuses from all the relationships I personally cultivated on Kezan to maximize PR. The hardest part now is learning who in my catalogue of acquaintances didn't make it off Kezan or the other Lost Isles.

Which...I've been trying to avoid it, but Pops was one of them, following Mom, although it's been a while for her. And to think neither took me to see the trading extravaganza at Booty Bay...

They told me about it on Gallywix's slave boat. Apparently old Griddle lingered too long gathering his valuables and got caught in a volcano-induced engineering explosion. Eerily similar to how Mom died, only without the volcano.

So it falls to me to carry on the family legacy. And I want to - like I said, re-amassing fortune. But I'll definitely need an apprentice, even though I don't know if I'll be able to pass much along to them. What used to be my hobby is now my primary use of time - I'm working as a mage for the Horde. I do enjoy using my spells, although they are admittedly pretty rusty. But my exploits in Azshara have been successful, although I get paid significantly less out there than I do holed up with my banker's book and auction slips. Even more mysterious to me is that I get a certain amount of satisfaction advancing the interests of the Horde (provided, of course, that Hellscream's eyes are NOT upon me. I mean, how could he even see everything? And why would he want to watch an old lady like me changing robes or answering the call of nature? Or reading a book, or riding around in my trike, or sleeping


1) Finally achieve childhood dream of seeing Booty Bay
2) Receive famous commendation (preferably non-combat)
3) Acquire apprentice for Sparklefizz name
4) Profit

Recruitment ad draft 1

24 March 2011


Today please enjoy some fun glitches I have encountered (generally as a result of not updating my video card). Once again, behind the cut.

21 March 2011


I'm heading to Vietnam for a week so I've lined up some filler posts with funny screenshots. Today we have some humorous conversations.

17 March 2011

[Shared Topic] Archaeology: How do I love thee?

This week's shared topic over at Blog Azeroth is brought to us by Amaranth from Specced for Drama, who asks:
What is your favorite profession and why?
I've seen some practical responses which weigh the benefits of primary and secondary professions with regards to a character's role in a raid or instance. That's legitimate, although we already know how I feel about my main's professions. I've also read plenty of posts complaining bitterly about archaeology, and still more admitting a deep love of...fishing. (QUESTION: If you are a lover of fishing, do you find yourself similarly attracted to the lonely grind of archaeology? Alternatively, do you hate one but adore the other? Inquiring minds want to know!)

So if you haven't guessed my favorite profession, it's ARCHAEOLOGY. First, let's explore the categories of professions. You have crafting and gathering, and the curious hybrid Archaeology, which uses the things it gathers to craft other things. The only drawback of Archaeology is that the items you craft are 90% useless, and unfortunately I think that non-raid related items may also be considered useless by a great many raiders. (I, however, love my Argus teleporter) Still, raid-useful professions are practical, but not particularly enjoyable to do. Crafting epic gear just doesn't make me excited to do it over and over every day.

Why is Archaeology so great? Let me count the ways...

1) Gathering. There is a quiet joy in flying/riding around quiet zones in search of nodes. The drive of "Just one more node..." can be addictive; in fact, I've found myself choosing to level archy rather than play a beloved alt, and stayed up past my bedtime because "the next digsite is just right there!" Gathering is so nonintensive that it's good for multi-tasking, or days when you're too sick or tired to deal with anything more involved.

2) Goals. (Golds?) More than just gathering stacks of items, you are gathering pieces of a whole, which can be gear, minipets, mounts, flavor items, or delicious vendor trash. I will acknowledge that the reason I like this aspect is because I don't care about the actual goals, that is, I don't get angry when I don't get Tyrande's Favorite Doll in the queue. I like working towards the goals regardless of what that goal is. [See also: I love senseless achievements.]

3) Convenience. Perhaps not the best word, and I'll be the first to admit that flying back and forth between Winterspring and Silithus is decidedly the opposite of convenient. However, archaeology is a good way to kill time, be it the 20 minutes before raid or the 30 between random dungeon pops.

4) My Inner Diva. Finally I have the perfect excuse to break my coveted tier sets out of the bank! Because I'm a packrat and also love old content, I painstakingly collected all sorts of gear sets from old quests and dungeons. Now, when I settle in for some archaeology, I rush to the bank and get my gear on!! So far I've received both /lol and a gentle /pat for my getup. But I know that everyone who beholds my glory is probably too awed to say anything.

Rocking my Cenarion set

What?! Nine thousand?!

14 March 2011

Who chooses my professions?

I just want to say that west Japan was generally unaffected by the earthquake and tsunami, and I am just fine. I have also heard from those I know in eastern Japan, and aside from some very scary shaking and disheveled apartments, they are fine. (I don't know anyone living in Sendai) If you are interested in donating to victim relief organizations, you can check out HuffPo's list here or the Japanese Red Cross here. My condolences to those affected by the quake.


What is the value of a profession to a player, to the character, and to the community? As I mentioned, I dropped Aka's Leatherworking in favor of mining, leveling it over the course of a few days. Leatherworking was the first of Aka's initial professions, along with skinning. As a noob drood, my rogue buddy suggested I get those two as a pair to make things for myself. I took both to 450 in Wrath, made myself the epic crafted boots, and changed skinning for Tailoring.

Tailoring was only temporary. I wanted the flying carpets to help me reach 100 mounts. While I collected Frostweave I took advantage of the spellthreads and such, but after I made the carpets I switched to Engineering (also for mounts...and pets :3). Fortunately I had gotten my paladin to 80 and could mine the leveling mats. The problem is that at the moment, I don't have a high-level skinner OR miner.

I asked guildies for advice - they are the community my professions contribute to. In general, 2 crafting professions buff a raiding character more than gathering ones. I don't have Jewelcrafting or Blacksmithing, but LW gives a nice bracer buff (assuming any crafted epics are replaced in raids), and Engi has tinker buffs and now cogwheels. By trading my +int buff for stam, was I gimping my healing, and therefore the raid? My RL's advice was to suck it up and buy mats to level both crafting professions, in the interest of saving LW. Is it my responsibility to the raid to level professions in accordance with their needs?

I asked my Insane buddy for advice - he suggested that I level my paladin to farm for myself (the only problem being that my paladin is a miner; my skinner is a level 65 DK bank alt). In terms of character benefit, is it better to neglect dailies and dungeons on my main in order to quest and farm on two toons?

I asked manfriend for advice - he said he always prefers having a toon to be self-sufficient with professions, so if I wouldn't give up Engi for skinning, I might as well drop LW for mining. Especially because as he knows, I work very infrequently on my alts when I'm focused on Aka. Is it more important to level professions than to play the way I want?

When it comes to my raid group, we are not as hard core as some. We require appropriate gear, enchants, and gems, consumables, strat prep, and honoring scheduled commitments. However, we do not require toons to have the most ideal professions or spec (unless something is seriously off). Although the first list contains requirements for a single toon that benefit the whole, the next two are considered personal choices left to the player. Indeed, even people with main toons with crafting professions will raid on surrogates (raid-ready alts with a high loot priority that compensate for group composition and player burnout) with random professions. I don't mean to suggest that this is better or worse than other methods - if I joined a guild that required certain profs, specs, time commitments, etc, I would be agreeing to honor them. My guild, however, does not dictate this particular decision.

Which brings me to the character, which is closely tied to my preferences. Without external pressure from the guild, I had internal pressure to keep the sweet bracer lining, not to mention it is the last of my starter professions, and one that I put lots of time, money, and effort into. But weighing that against my resistance to leveling alts and my unwillingness to spend gold on leveling mats, the choice was clear.

In the end, I choose my professions. Although I am committed to successful guild raids, at the moment professions are not crucial to them. And without this change, it's unlikely that I would have leveled either profession until much too late; at least now I can get my engi together in time to be useful.

11 March 2011

Rate my toon

It's interesting that the topic of criticism - both giving and receiving - has come up this week. I had just started puzzling over my own post on it when I saw Rhii's post about her raid team, followed by Ophelie's about how to give and take constructive criticism. MMO Melting Pot's roundup pointed me to a third post by Analogue that I really enjoyed, and since all three have inspired me to finish hammering out my own post, here it is.

In my guild forums there is a section called Rate My Toon! The idea is, as you may guess, to submit your toon for a thorough critique from guildies. They will inspect your spec, gear, gems, enchants, and glyphs and point out any spots that could be improved in order to maximize your character's capabilities, and as a result, the raid's capabilities.

Up until now, I had resisted linking my armory for critique. It's a combination of reasons: I am lazy, I don't like to be told I've made a mistake, I'm the only mainspec resto druid on the raid team, I feel relatively confident about my choices. But my guildies did have advice! My moonkin buddy identified a socket bonus I had met that could be ignored in favor of a pure +int gem (/twitch...gray text...), and asked about the Heartsong weapon enchant, which prompted me to discover Power Torrent. It's not viable until we get a more regular supply of maelstrom crystals - and I get a weapon worth enchanting with such - but I hadn't even known about it before now. (Embarrassing! I hadn't updated my BiS notes in months...) He even questioned my spec, recommending Furor over Moonglow, but I defended that by producing a few blog posts and guides explaining my choices.

In the case of my forum, the venue is obviously already an appropriate place to give advice, and by posting there you acknowledge that you are asking for it. Still, knowing the right tone for your audience is important. Although I've talked about the need to pay attention to messages, even when given with a combative tone, I would still have been annoyed to get a comment like "lolol - you look like a noob gemming for a +spirit socket bonus!" (/twitch...gray text...) Ophelie sums it up as follows:
Be clear about how you like to spoken to (for example, I’m very open to blunt feedback, but I don’t let anyone raise their voice or swear at me).
Hell, even though all the comments on my armory were respectful and helpful and I had explicitly asked for input, I still found myself a wee bit defensive! My main is very close to my heart, and I put time and effort into each component. To have those decisions criticized elicited a knee-jerk defensiveness that I had to quell before I replied to comments and made my changes.

That was my intended post on criticism, but Rhii & Analogue talk specifically about criticism in the context of raids. Rhii wants to be more conscientious about lauding improvements in addition to open discussion of problems and solutions, and Analogue wants to give tips in the most diplomatic way, so as to avoid embarrassing or offending the person spoken to. This summary seems to closely mirror my own guild's method:
When there are things the whole raid, or large parts of them, are doing wrong, for instance, not getting out of fire fast enough, then the whole raid needs to hear the correction. [...] When it’s a small change for one person, a whisper works well. A larger changeup makes Vent a good tool for discussion – but when the change only involves a single person, keeping it private can help make sure the person understands he’s not being called out or picked on. 
My guild has officer chat, so who knows what sort of shenanigans go on in there. We have a healing channel as well, although at times it seems that over half the raid is in it anyway. In general, I've noticed that people, especially the raid leaders, will compliment raiders on good performance. For instance, when a rogue increased her DPS significantly, it was mentioned. When we get a quick gong interrupt on Atramedes, it gets mentioned. Even when we wipe spectacularly, there are usually at least a few good points to bring up (even if it's as simple as "Good job switching quickly to adds, now let's keep doing that and also stay out of fire this time!")

As far as criticism goes, I don't know what happens in secret channels, but I know that for the most part people are quick to own up to their own mistakes, or offer suggestions to a consistent problem. Personally, when I give advice, I frame it as a question. "Could you use a cooldown at that part?" "Can we position differently so I don't get ranged from the tank so much?"

In general, people know what they are doing or have done wrong when it comes to wiping. Different from the Rate My Toon! forum, once the raid roles are established it's mostly a matter of getting used to performing all of the appropriate steps. In Rate My Toon!, people take advice, make changes, and improve. In raids, they take responsibility, apologize, and hopefully correct their mistake on the next pull. When a group is relying on you, it's important to accept advice given to you that will benefit the group. However, a group shouldn't forget that it's made up of individual members, and that each benefits from a kind word here and there. Or, as Rhii sums it up:
[...] I don’t want our raids to be all fluffy bunnies and rainbows, but balance is healthy and some positivity [is] definitely due.

08 March 2011

Resto druid power auras & macros

Way back when, I promised to show off my Power Auras. Many of them I made myself, while others I took inspiration (and code!) from Tree Bark Jacket and Falling Leaves and Wings.

I generally prefer the custom animations over the default icons, but don't forget that you can change the size, shape, positioning, and animation of each to suit your needs! [This is embarrassing, but I can't seem to get a screenshot without the new green mover boxes around the auras. For now I'm hoping someone can tell me how to make them go away while still having all of my auras visible before I give up and put up the cluttered green screenshot. Heeeelp!]

Clearcasting: Icon and timer. I used to have a custom white glowing star, but after a VP run knew that I needed the less elegant but more visible icon.
Version:4.14; b:0.9647; icon:Spell_Shadow_ManaBurn; buffname:Clearcasting; r:0.9294; texture:22; alpha:1; owntex:true; inVehicle:0; size:0.17; y:72; texmode:2; timer.h:0.96; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:42
Mana (65%): Time to Innervate!
Version:4.14; anim1:2; g:0.1961; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_02; r:0; begin:3; bufftype:9; texture:17; alpha:1; threshold:65; size:0.76; y:10; anim2:2
Mana (10%): Cooldowns! Everyone use cooldowns!
Version:4.9; b:0.051; g:0; icon:inv_alchemy_elixir_02; begin:3; bufftype:9; texture:17; alpha:1; threshold:10; size:0.76; y:10; finish:3
Tree of Life active: I made the animation size 0 and went with a timer-only indicator.
Version:4.14; b:0.0667; icon:Ability_Druid_TreeofLife; buffname:Tree of Life; r:0; alpha:0.1; isResting:0; spec2:false; size:0.02; y:-39; texmode:2; ismounted:0; timer.a:0.96; timer.h:4.04; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-40; timer.x:-3; timer.Transparent:true
Tree of Life cooldown: Icon and timer.
Version:4.9; icon:Ability_Druid_TreeofLife; buffname:Tree of Life; x:-133; bufftype:15; texture:169; alpha:1; isResting:0; spec2:false; size:0.47; y:-27; texmode:2; inverse:true; ismounted:0; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:39; timer.x:-138
Barkskin active: Icon only.
Version:4.9; b:0; g:0.4275; icon:Spell_Nature_StoneClawTotem; buffname:Barkskin; texture:18; size:0.54; torsion:1.5
Synapse Springs active (engi glove tinker): Icon and timer. Good time to Innervate!
Version:4.14; b:0; icon:Spell_Shaman_ElementalOath; buffname:Synapse Springs; r:0.8549; x:134; texture:125; alpha:0.67; isResting:0; spec2:false; size:0.51; y:-27; ismounted:0; timer.h:1.14; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:37; timer.x:132; timer.Transparent:true; timer.Seconds99:true
Nature's Swiftness cooldown: Icon and timer. Yes, I still have this in my spec.
Version:4.9; g:0.4863; icon:Spell_Nature_RavenForm; buffname:Nature's Swiftness; r:0.8039; bufftype:15; texture:24; isResting:0; spec2:false; size:0.46; y:-67; inverse:true; timer.h:1.22; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-110
Innervate cooldown: Icon and timer.
Version:4.9; g:0.5961; icon:Spell_Nature_Lightning; buffname:Innervate; r:0; customname:48477; bufftype:15; texture:16; symetrie:2; isResting:0; size:0.56; torsion:1.1; y:-81; inverse:true; anim2:1; finish:0; timer.h:1.4; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-128
Rebirth cooldown: Icon and timer.
Version:4.9; b:0; g:0.1412; icon:Spell_Nature_Reincarnation; buffname:Rebirth; customname:48477; isAlive:0; bufftype:15; texture:16; symetrie:2; isResting:0; size:0.56; torsion:1.3; y:-107; inverse:true; anim2:1; finish:0; timer.h:1.4; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:-146
No flask (of the Draconic Mind)
Version:4.14; icon:inv_potione_5; buffname:Flask of the Draconic Mind; x:-55; owntex:true; isResting:0; exact:true; spec2:false; size:0.41; inRaid:true; y:-188; inverse:true; ismounted:0
 Not Well Fed
Version:4.14; icon:Spell_Misc_Food; buffname:Well Fed; x:51; owntex:true; isResting:0; spec2:false; size:0.42; inRaid:true; y:-189; inverse:true; ismounted:0

These are pretty simple, but they are incredibly useful, especially for making sure cooldowns get used!

REJUVE + BARKSKIN: Cannot Be Tamed has a great post about when/how to use Barkskin based on what fight you're doing. When I need to keep it on CD I use this macro. (Otherwise I have Rejuve and Barkskin separated on my bar)
#showtooltip Rejuvenation/use Barkskin/stopcasting/cast Rejuvenation/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
NOURISH + GLOVES: I like to keep my tinker on CD but not use it at the start of a fight, so I stuck it to Nourish.
#showtooltip Nourish
/use Blessed Hands of Elune/cast Nourish/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
NATURE'S SWIFTNESS + HEALING TOUCH: Yes, I still have this in my spec. >_>
#showtooltip Nature's Swiftness/cast Nature's Swiftness/cast Healing Touch
INNERVATE + GLOVES: Get more mana back on your Innervate!
#showtooltip Innervate
/use Blessed Hands of Elune/cast Innervate/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
REBIRTH/REVIVE + TARGET: This will use either spell depending on your combat status, and will announce your target in /say.
#showtooltip/cast [@player, dead][combat] Rebirth; [@player, dead][nocombat] Revive/stopmacro [nodead,noexists][harm]/s Rezzing %t
Hide the weird Blizz Raid Frame
/run CompactRaidFrameManager:UnregisterAllEvents()/run CompactRaidFrameManager:Hide()/run CompactRaidFrameContainer:UnregisterAllEvents()/run CompactRaidFrameContainer:Hide()

05 March 2011

Angry Cow

You guys...I yelled at my raid.

This had been going wrong all day and my temper was percolating, and I kind of blew up at the raid.

It began at work - I had 6 straight classes - of speaking tests no less. That means I had variations of the same conversation approximately 150 times in one day. Then, I was asked to stay late, when the teachers remembered they had to record the listening test, except they never have any free time because teachers have about 1000 times more things on their plate than any one person should be expected to deal with at work. While I wait for a teacher to become available, I post that I'll be late on the forums and manage to walk into some mini personal drama via texting. Woot.

I finally get home and log on right at raid start time. (Quoth my high school band teacher, "To be on time is to be late!") Considering how late I thought I might be, this is awesome. Especially since I've been replaced for being 10 min early instead of an hour (even though the asked time is 15 min prior. IDK.) So I log on and people immediately start giving me crap about being late. I know they're joking, but am I in the mood for that? Hell no! So I cuss about it in whispers to a buddy and head to raid. During Magmaw, Vent dies. We text our way through Chimaeron, then head to Omnitron.

This is where it gets bad. Omni has a ton of things to look out for. Even with DBM blaring at me every few seconds, it's easy to miss things. On Vent, calls like "So-and-so is active," "Ability inc," "Star, get the hell out of the raid" can be immensely useful - although at this point the first four bosses have clicked for me and I have accidentally done them without DBM before with no huge problems.

Anyway, each tank and two raid leaders decide to make raid warning macros for all of the things we need to know. Then, each time that thing happens, they all click their macros, and due to lag, each click several times just in case. On the screen, only 2 lines of RW are visible, so they all overwrite each other too quickly to be read. In my chat log, I get about 8 lines of text, and end up seeing 4 lines from 2 different macros saying the same thing with slightly different wording. This makes me want to flip tables.

As an aside, I generally find RW hilarious. I mourned losing it in party chat - I used to group with a friend while questing just to talk entirely in RW, or at least exclaim things like /rw CAWK to break the monotony of dailies. Furthermore, we have a lock who can't talk on Vent during raids, and he uses RW to alert us to important things like being carried off by a Valkyr during LK. He also spams his macro, but it's the same message and also not competing with any other messages on the screen.

So what I'm getting at is that in small doses, RW spam is not that annoying, and also had I not been in a fucking terrible mood I probably would have found the Omni situation humorous. But I didn't. When the encounter ended my first comment was NO MORE FUCKING RW MACROS THAT WAS TERRIBLE. I nerdraged about screen clutter and inability to actually get any of the helpful messages due to scrolling and quantity. It was quiet. I panted a little after my tirade. The RL hesitantly joked, "Well, that means you noticed them, right?" Others defended the necessity of getting the info out, some conceded that perhaps 4 people don't need to all do the same job in slightly different ways. I made some remarks about not needing the RW so long as you pay attention to DBM, increasingly becoming less combatitve. My desire to ragequit and flip my desk subsided. Fortunately nothing dropped that I would have rolled on...

I broke character. Windsoar talks about this in reference to bloggers - the necessity of having a predictable personality and tone in your writing in order to not surprise or alienate readers. I think it can be applied to WoW, although the in-game situation is more reminiscent of how you present yourself in meatspace. On a blog, you can be a raging asshole, set that tone for your writing, and still get a big following. At work, or in a guild, it's usually in your best interests to at least try to be socially appropriate - assuming you want to do social activities. Up until now, my character has been easygoing, rarely critical, and forgiving. But by breaking with that, did I help or hurt my cause?

For instance, one of our raiders recently got drunk and made a very blunt forum post about our progression stagnating and our guild being well behind where it should be given our skill and time input. That was the message, anyway; the wording was more like "get ur shit together this is embarrassingly bad." Some people felt attacked, many were defensive, but by looking closely at the message instead of tuning out at the delivery, it sparked a good conversation and even garnered some more RL volunteers.

Back to Windsoar's example, if a blogger were to suddenly break character, I might take even more special notice of the situation. If Larisa posted an angry rant, I would pay close attention, because it must be some serious shit. Anger might be hard to listen to, especially if it's directed at you, but it's not always an excuse to ignore the message.

As a raider, how do you deal with bad days? As a raider, or even a guild member, how do you deal with getting pissed off and/or wanting to criticize something in your social group? As a RL (or GL), how do you react to occasional grumpiness or criticism?

02 March 2011

Things you can do in: Tol Barad

Go to Tol Barad you must; do these things you will.



Explore Tol Barad - Explore the named locations in Tol Barad. A map can be found here. This is currently bugged, and two of the subzones on Tol Barad proper cannot be discovered.


Breaking Out of Tol Barad - Do 100 dailies in Tol Barad. 

Just Another Day in Tol Barad - Complete all of the Tol Barad daily quests. The quests are exactly the same for Alliance and Horde.


There are no 5-man dungeons in Tol Barad.


To All the Squirrels Who Cared for Me - Baradin Fox Kit can be found in Tol Barad proper.

Tol Barad Victory - Win Tol Barad.

Tol Barad Veteran - Win Tol Barad 100 times. Unlocked after completing Tol Barad Victory. Contributes to the meta-achievement Master of Tol Barad.

Tol Barad All-Star - Get 10 honorable kills at the Ironclad Garrison, Slagworks, and Warden's Vigil. Contributes to the meta-achievement Master of Tol Barad.

Tol Barad Saboteur - Destroy 20 deployed Siege Engines. Contributes to the meta-achievement Master of Tol Barad.

Tower Plower - Destroy a tower. Contributes to the meta-achievement Master of Tol Barad.

Towers of Power - Destroy 3 Siege Engines in a single battle. Contributes to the meta-achievement Master of Tol Barad.


[H] Hellscream's Reach - you can find Pogg in Hellscream's Grasp at 54.57,81.13 in Tol Barad Peninsula.

[A] Baradin's Wardens - you can find Quartermaster Brazie in Baradin Base Camp at 72.4,63.1 in Tol Barad Peninsula.


Fox Kit - A very low drop from the Baradin Foxes on Tol Barad Peninsula. It is BOP. You can find a good map of Fox spawn points here.

Rustberg Gull - Purchasable from your respective quartermaster at honored for 50 Tol Barad Commendations.


[H] Spectral Wolf - Purchasable from Pogg at exalted for 165 Tol Barad Commendations.

[A] Spectral Steed - Purchasable from Quartermaster Brazie at exalted for 165 Tol Barad Commendations.

Drake of the West Wind - Purchasable from your respective quartermaster at exalted for 200 Tol Barad Commendations.



You can fish Murglesnout and Deepsea Sagefish, from open water, and Algaefin Rockfish from pools. You can also fish Fathom Eel from pools in Tol Barad Peninsula only. These will count towards the meta achievement The Oceanographer.


You can acquire the following fish/meat for their accompanying recipe to get credit towards The Cataclysmic Gourmet. The number in parentheses is the total amount you will need to cook one of each recipe.